Digitally Alienated

Apathetic use of digital technology

These families were apathetic toward digital technologies.

They felt disempowered by the advancing digitalisation of society, as they could not visualise themselves as part of it, or profiting from it. At the low end of the socioeconomic scale, and with limited education and access to work, parents had an off-grid mentality that was nostalgic for a natural, uncomplicated, and low cost lifestyle.

 

Culture of Digital Technology Use

While these families would consume leisure and entertainment, often from their phones or their Xbox, they kept their digital interactions with others and institutions to a minimum. They rejected increasing reliance on digital technology, not only due to cost barriers, but also that they could not visualise how the internet or digital technologies could benefit them. Unsurprisingly, there was little digital expertise at home, and little access to institutionalised networks of IT support. While parents may have had some ICT skills (having attending foundational courses offered by the government) they could not visualise how internet access could be useful to improving their life circumstances.

 

Outcomes

For these families:

Capital benefits are unobtainable from digital world, and they have little digital capital.

They are largely excluded from digital society already, and risk further alienation with increased digitalisation. They have low levels of participation online, and do not generally produce and share content.

 

Children in these families often did not know what they would do when they left school, finding it difficult to visualise how they might work in a digital society.